Prometheus Books is the Premier Atheist Publisher in Our Generation

Sometimes I lose patience when I have to respond to the same ill-informed drivel week after week that I just decided to make a post about it. It's claimed that since Prometheus Books is an ideologically driven publishing house it's not an objective publisher and should be regarded as inferior to some other publishers. Let's think about this, okay?

Most Christians publish through ideologically driven publishing houses like IVP, Baker, Zondervan, Crossway, Moody Press, Harvest House, etc. Prometheus Books is their counter-part publisher. It's the premier atheist publisher of our generation, if not the premier atheist publisher ever.

If you want to claim that people shouldn't have regard for ideologically driven publishing houses then let's have no regard for these Christian publishers either, all of them.

Q.E.D.

20 comments:

James Pate said...

I refer readers to my comments in the post below. I could cut-and-paste, but I'm too lazy, plus I have other things to do than play around in others' "I'm a better biblioblogger than you" feud.

James Pate said...

I can't resist this, though...

If Christian publishing-houses are no longer legitimate, neither are evangelical educational institutions. In that case, there goes Avalos' argument about your educational background!

Personally, I think those are fine institutions you went to, but I'm just taking your statement to its logical conclusion.

John W. Loftus said...

I never said Christian publishing houses are not legitimate ones.

Non-sequitur anyone?

If you are right, X, then you should think the same way about Y.

X

.: Y

I am calling you out on your reasoning. That's all.

James Pate said...

Yeah, a man of logic you are! I admire those who debate you!

But I don't think I'm coming out of left field, here. For one, I prefaced my statement with the all-so-significant word "if." You were the one who said that, if we reject Prometheus for being ideologically driven, we should reject the Christian publishing houses for the same reason. I'm asking about the implications of that if we followed it.

On X and Y, hey, the two are similar! Evangelical publishing houses communicate Christian scholarship. Evangelical institutions of higher learning convey it to students! Perhaps you'd like to explain to me why the two are different.

steph said...

I don't have a problem with Prometheus. It publishes a wide range of material. I have bought much over the years including new age religions, art and mythology.

However you are wrong. As I commented below, your very American list consists of a whole lot of publishers who publish apologetic and very conservative bordering on apologetic 'scholarship'.

In fact, most critical Christian scholars publish with T&T Clark, CUP, OUP, Mohr Siebeck, WJK, Equinox, Yale UP, Harvard UP, SCM, SPCK, Leuven UP, Brill and many others.

John W. Loftus said...

James, I see you are a Ph.D. student. Again, I never said anything remotely close to the "if" statement in your comment. I never said "Christian publishing-houses are no longer legitimate." So what are you even responding to?

I wasn't going to link to what you said which prompted this post, but now I will.

Cheers.

Joshua Jung said...

If the best thing people can do is talk about the inferiority of publishers based on "ideologies", we live in a sad world.

Why can't people just deal honestly with arguments and evidence. Why. Oh why.

John W. Loftus said...

steph, looks like no matter what I do I open a can of worms. Dr. Avalos already responded to you right here.

Cheers

James Pate said...

Yeah, I'm a Ph.D. student. So now I officially join the human race!

Okay, that's probably a non-sequitor.

Sure, John, you didn't use those exact words, but you said "If you want to claim that people shouldn't have regard for ideologically driven publishing houses then let's have no regard for these Christian publishers too, all of them." To me, "have no regard" is saying something's illegitimate.

Again, to be fair, you're presenting a hypothetical (if that's the right word). You're not saying they're illegitimate, but you're saying they're illegitimate if Prometheus is. But what I'm doing is pointing out the implications if you're hypothetical were true.

And there's a point in all this: just because something's evangelical, that doesn't mean everything it has to say has an ax-to-grind, or is missionizing. That's why I think comparing Prometheus to those Christian publishing houses is like comparing apples to oranges. You violate your own X and Y rule there, right before you accuse me of doing so!

But I'm speaking from my own experience with Prometheus, shelving books in libraries and taking a look at them. My impression is that it has an ax to grind against religion. But I've not seen its books on art!

Piratefish said...

Does this argument against Prometheus Books worth responding at all? People just have so much nonsense. :)

steph said...

Dear Hector again, copying comment from below...

Dear Hector,

Sorry for the delay, I have been looking for your book but it seems to have been mislaid in our recent house move. We have several thousand books and quite a few have gone missing. (We do still have your outstanding work on illness and health care in the ancient near east though!)

It is of course entirely true that all these presses publish books by religious people but they do publish other books as well. Maurice Casey's books have all been published by SPCK, CUP, T&T Clark, WJK, James Clarke and Routledge. I'm also completely aware that I haven't experienced the extreme divisions in the USA in either New Zealand, Australia or the United Kingdom. However we are aware of American division which is reflected in scholarship and unfortunately American biblical scholarship is often judged as falling within either extreme. I think this is extremely detrimental to the advancement of knowledge. I don't think that division justifies aggression in scholarship though I can see that oppressive fundamentalists in the situation you mention do require vigourous opposition.

steph said...

an afterthought: all fundamentalism - both religious and non religious/atheist fundamentalism - needs to be vigorously opposed, and it's important to remember that good Christians do vigorously oppose Christian fundamentalism.

steph said...

Piratefish: I don't think this argument against Prometheus Books deserves a response at all. Prometheus Books stands on its own as a reputable publisher. Nobody needs to 'prove' its worth. The argument is pointless and a little rude.

James Pate said...

I'll let that pass, Steph, since at least you criticized the whole "I'm a better biblioblogger than you" discussion as pointless. That is consistency!

James Pate said...

On the rude part, I must have woken up in an alternate reality. Rudeness is unacceptable in the biblioblogosphere?!!! :D

steph said...

and so is nasty sarcasm.

AndreLinoge said...

Prometheus puts out some good titles, but damn they are pricey books.

James Pate said...

In that, it has something in common with other academic publishing houses!

I think you can get the "Mind of the Bible-Believer" off Amazon for a good price, though.

BTW, I love Storm of the Century! "What do you want, Linoge?!"

Brad Haggard said...

I wanted to chime in here and say that I completely agree with John on this one. Opposing ideologies force me to think more clearly about my own.

Cody Rudisill said...

Yeah, John, don't you realize that when you diss publishing companies your does the higher educational institution's the authors derive from. And in doing that you are saying that the humans who make up these institution's are illegitimate. And when you diss those humans you are also dissing the whole human race-which happens to include atheists?? That means your argument actually runs full circle in making Atheism illegitimate. It's logic, and I'm so glad we have Ph.D students like Pate who are being taught that. What hope America has.